Lord Chancellor unveils diversity strategy for appointing judges

A strategy to increase the diversity of the people appointed to be judges has been announced by  the minister responsible for the judiciary.

The strategy, jointly agreed by the secretary of state for constitutional affairs and Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer, and a new Judicial Appointments Commission, will widen the range of people eligible to apply for judicial office and encourage a wider range of applicants.

It also aims to ensure that the culture and working environment for judicial office-holders encourages and supports a diverse judiciary and increases understanding of the communities served.

It comes as a report released yesterday by the Department for Constitutional Affairs found some people would not apply to work in the judiciary because they found it “irrevocably sexist and racist”.

The report concluded there was a “strong belief that the judiciary only welcomed those in its own image – ie white males from the ‘right’ social background”.

Lord Falconer said increasing the diversity of the Bench, particularly the number of women and those from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, remained one of his key priorities.

“The launch of the Judicial Appointments Commission provides an ideal opportunity to set in place a new strategy to build on the improvements made in recent years,” he said.

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